Yale University will undertake an investigation into its athletic recruitment and admissions to determine whether additional staff were involved in the bribery scandal that involved the former women’s soccer coach, President Peter Salovey wrote in a message Friday evening.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling in Boston revealed Tuesday that Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith had accepted a $400,000 bribe, allegedly from William “Rick” Singer of California, owner of the Edge College & Career Network LLC, also known as The Key. Meredith recruited an applicant from Southern California for his team who did not play competitive soccer. She was admitted to Yale.
Lelling also charged 50 others in the scandal, which involved both athletic recruitment and cheating on standardized tests.
“The ongoing federal investigation has publicized wrongdoing by one Yale coach who participated in this scheme; however, I have decided that we must conduct our own searching review in order to learn whether others have been involved in activities that have corrupted the athletic recruitment and admissions process,” Salovey wrote.
“We will retain external advisors to assist us. They will be asked to recommend changes that will help us detect and prevent efforts to defraud our admissions process. As part of this review, we will specifically examine the practices of commercial admissions consultants, whose work is conducted out of the view of admissions officers,” he wrote.
Salovey said of the admitted student, “Although I do not comment on specific disciplinary actions taken with respect to an individual student, our longstanding policy is to rescind the admission of students who falsified their Yale College applications.”
In a web page of “frequently asked questions” about the scandal, Yale said it received a grand jury subpoena from Lelling’s Boston office on Nov. 16, 2018, seeking information about Meredith. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not share with Yale the full details of the allegations against Meredith or the extent of the investigation until the charges were unsealed on March 12, 2019,” the FAQ states. The subpoena was accompanied by a letter from Lelling ordering Yale not to disclose it.
Meredith resigned his position, which he held for 23 years, on Nov. 15, and Yale said administrators were unaware of the investigation at that time.
Salovey wrote that Director of Athletics Victoria Chun, who joined Yale from Colgate University on July 1, “independently had begun to put in place new policies and procedures regarding the oversight and assessment of our coaching staff. The goals of her initiatives are to ensure that student-athletes receive an excellent education at Yale and to enhance the quality of our athletic programs.
“In addition, going forward, Ms. Chun will conduct a review of coaches’ proposed rosters of recruits before they are sent to the admissions office, and situations in which a recruited athlete fails to make a team will receive close scrutiny. These measures will help prevent opportunities for undermining the fairness and integrity of the Yale College admissions process.”
Also, Chun and Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions, will “implement a code of conduct for athletic recruitment” and increase training for athletics staff in recruitment procedures.
“As we proceed with these first steps, we may find that more actions are necessary,” Salovey wrote. “I will not spare our university any scrutiny that will help us to be better and bolster the integrity of our community.”
Meredith’s coaching position had been endowed in his name in 2013 by supporters of the women’s soccer team. His name has been removed from the position, Salovey wrote.